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How to Make Money on Pinterest Without a Blog (Updated for 2021)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using my link, I'll receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog!

Want to work from home in 2021? Learning how to make money on Pinterest could be a great way to help you reach the financial goals you’ve set for this year.

These goals could be:

  • Paying off student or credit card debt
  • Putting more money towards your mortgage every month
  • Having more fun money to spend on things like entertainment and traveling
  • Growing your savings account

Before you can start making money on Pinterest, there are a few skills you’ll need to develop.

For example, you’ll want to learn how to:

  • Design click-worthy pins 
  • Craft Pinterest optimized pin descriptions
  • Schedule a month’s worth of pins in a few hours using a scheduling tool like Tailwind
  • Analyze Pinterest analytics to see where you’re making progress and what you can do better

If the above sounds fun or interesting to you, then I encourage you to continue reading!

How can you make money on Pinterest?

In my experience, I’ve been able to make money on Pinterest using two methods. Pinterest affiliate marketing, and offering Pinterest virtual assistant services.

I learned about these methods from courses and ebooks, and with time I was able to earn a solid income with the new skills I’d learned.

In 2017, I spent a solid month designing and sharing affiliate pins. Over the next few months, I started to see sales coming in every week, and sometimes even daily. It was then that I realized sharing affiliate pins could be a great way to earn passive income.

2017 was also the year I decided to become a Pinterest virtual assistant. I started offering pin design to my VA clients at the time and later started working with my first pin scheduling client.

So if you’re wondering if you really can make money on Pinterest, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible! 

It does take time and sincere effort, but the methods I’m going to lay out below were the exact paths I took to earn an income from home while working on Pinterest.

What we’ll cover in this post

Feminine office desk with text saying: How to Make Money on Pinterest in 2020

Method #1: Pinterest Affiliate Marketing

This was the first method I used to make money on Pinterest and think it’s a great way to earn extra money on the side.

What exactly is Pinterest affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service you’ve found helpful with another person, and when they complete a purchase using your custom affiliate link, you’ll receive a commission from the product creator. 

There are thousands of affiliate programs out there that allow people to promote their products. You’ll just need to apply to these programs to get custom affiliate links you can share.

Note: Having a blog could help you get accepted to more affiliate programs, but not all require one.

No matter the niche you want to focus on, there’s likely a good handful of quality affiliate programs you can join. Although it might take some time to weave through them all to find the hidden gems.

Here are a few things you’ll want to look for in an affiliate program to promote on Pinterest:

  • A trustworthy seller and quality product to promote
  • A commission rate above 5%
  • A free or low-cost offering you can use to introduce your audience to the brand
  • Terms & conditions that allow marketing on Pinterest
  • A 30-60 day affiliate payout
  • A 30 day or longer affiliate cookie. The longer the cookie time, the better! If someone clicks on your link and doesn’t buy today, but decides to purchase in 28 days, you can still be credited with the sale.

Affiliate marketing sounds pretty cool, right?

It gets even cooler.

Why Pinterest is a good place to share affiliate links

Like Google, Pinterest is a place people go when they’re looking for solutions to problems. For example, someone might search for bedroom organization ideas on Pinterest and click on a pin that catches their eye.

Your affiliate pin could link to a wall organizer from The Container Store and if the Pinterest user decides to purchase that organizer, you’d receive a commission.

Benefits of using affiliate links on Pinterest

Three major benefits to this type of business model are:

  • Little to no upfront expenses to get started
  • People are actively searching Google (and Pinterest!) for solutions to their problems
  • You can make sales at any time of the day, even while you sleep

How to get started

You might be wondering, how exactly can I get started?

Here’s a bare-bones outline of the steps you could take to get started:

  1. Create a Pinterest business account or convert your personal account. Also, create a free Tailwind account that you can use later in step 7.
  2. Choose a niche you want to promote products in. Some examples are health and wellness, making money online, organization, and personal finance. These are all pretty popular topics on Pinterest and have a good amount of affiliate programs to choose from.
  3. Find and join 1-2 affiliate programs. You can apply to more later, but it’s important not to overwhelm yourself by joining too many from the get-go.
  4. Design 2-5 attention-grabbing pins your audience will be interested in. You could use free design software like Canva to do this!
  5. Optimize your Pinterest account. Create 10-15 boards related to your niche and add board descriptions to each.
  6. Join 5-10 relevant group boards and 5-10 Tailwind Communities to help you promote your pins.
  7. Publish your affiliate pins to Pinterest! Use a scheduler like Tailwind to put your marketing on autopilot.

If you want to learn more about this process, I wrote a post detailing how I made my first affiliate sale on Pinterest.

Another great resource to consider purchasing is the ebook Get Paid to Pin by Dale from Blogging Her Way. It’s very affordable and a good introduction to the topic. If you’d like to grab a copy, you can save 20% when you use the code RH20 when checking out.

Who is this a good fit for?

I don’t think any work from home opportunity is necessarily easy, but it can be simple.

That’s how I feel about Pinterest affiliate marketing.

If you follow a simple process and stay consistent, you can start to see your hard work pay off over time. But this particular method requires a lot of upfront work and perseverance to continue even when you aren’t seeing the results right away.

And sometimes it may take a bit of reflecting on your results to see how you can make your strategy better.

This method would be a good fit for someone who:

  • Is willing to put in the hard work to get things going
  • Isn’t in a hurry to make money and could wait weeks to months before seeing sales come in
  • Wants to earn a part-time income from home
  • Loves the idea of creating a passive income stream
  • Will take time to analyze what’s working and what’s not
  • Loves the creative and analytical sides of creating content for Pinterest
  • Open to learning more about Pinterest and marketing

How much can you earn?

The answer to this question will be different for everyone. Here are a few things that could affect how much you can earn:

  • How many active Pinterest users you can get your affiliate pins in front of and how active your niche audience is on Pinterest
  • How many affiliate pins you share on Pinterest each month
  • What the commission rate on your affiliate product is
  • How many products you can sell per month

In other words, it’s going to vary a lot from person to person.

But to give you some inspiration, here are a few people I know that have been able to earn a solid side income from Pinterest affiliate marketing.

  • McKinzie from Moms Make Cents
    • McKinzie was able to go from 0 to $1,000 in six months with Pinterest affiliate marketing
  • Elise from House of Brazen
    • Elise was able to earn $500 within one month of adding her affiliate links to Pinterest
  • Dale from Blogging Her Way
    • Dale earns over $500 per month through affiliate marketing on Pinterest

Where you can learn more

Here are a few places you can learn more about making money on Pinterest with affiliate links:

Method #2: Pinterest Virtual Assistant

I started offering Pinterest services on the side soon after taking the popular course: Become a Pinterest VA Today in 2017.

This course taught me all about profitable services I could offer, how to price my services, what tools to use, how to land my first client, and so much more!

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s go over what a Pinterest VA is and does.

What is a Pinterest virtual assistant?

A Pinterest virtual assistant is a freelancer that helps bloggers or business owners level up their Pinterest marketing. 

They could help with things like:

  • Pinterest business account setup
  • Designing pins
  • Tailwind account setup
  • Monthly scheduling using Tailwind
  • Writing optimized pin and board descriptions
  • Pinterest strategy consultations
  • Managing promoted pins

How much can you earn as a Pinterest VA?

When I was offering Pinterest services I would package my services into a flat rate that would be due before a service was completed. 

The main services I offered when I was getting started were designing pins, monthly pin scheduling, and setting up the client’s Tailwind account.

After all was said and done, I was averaging between $35 to $50 per working hour as a Pinterest virtual assistant.

One cool thing about working for yourself is that you can slowly increase your rates with each new client you take on. Especially if you have shining testimonials coming in, and some good Pinterest analytics to back up your work.

What you charge will ultimately boil down to your skills, experience, and client results. In other words, the more you develop your Pinterest skills, the better your results are going to be, and the higher you can set your starting rate.

Who is this a good fit for?

Pinterest is a business. And like all thriving businesses, they experiment to see what produces the most engagement and traction on their platform.

I mention this to say that Pinterest makes at least a few major changes to its platform and algorithm each year. 

For example, a few years ago, I would have said that group boards were the best way to get more eyeballs on your pins and content.

But now, optimized personal boards have become even more important than group boards. 

Group boards should still play a role in growing a new Pinterest account, but for more established accounts, they don’t have the impact that they once did.

All this to say that as a Pinterest VA, you’ll need to stay on top of best practices and reflect on your marketing strategy every few months to stay current.

That said, becoming a Pinterest VA could be a good fit for you if you:

  • Enjoy spending time on Pinterest and would love to get paid to pin.
  • Are a life long learner and always on the lookout to see how you can optimize things for better results.
  • Want to earn a part or full-time income within the next few months.
  • Are willing to spend time developing your Pinterest skills. A practical example of this could be enrolling in a Tailwind workshop to see how you could best use Tailwind Tribes to increase pageviews.
  • Want to develop a high paying skillset that allows you to work from anywhere with an internet connection.

Where can you learn the skills to get started?

There are two ways you can go about learning how to become a Pinterest virtual assistant. 

  1. Learn the skills and business side of things on your own. This will likely mean spending hours conducting independent research and experimenting with the knowledge you gather from online blogs and guides. 
  2. Take a course that will teach you step-by-step how you can become a profitable Pinterest VA. Enrolling in a course can save you time by teaching you exactly what you need to know to start earning.

The best course I’ve personally taken on this is Become a Pinterest VA Today!

I enrolled back in 2017 and started working with my first client within a month. I was able to earn my investment back by offering pin design services for a fellow blogger.

Shortly after, I started offering account setup packages and monthly scheduling that allowed me to earn four figures in one month. 

With that said, the only reason I had the confidence to start offering Pinterest services was because of this course.

How much does Become a Pinterest VA today cost?

Become a Pinterest VA Today is one of the few courses priced above $500 that I recommend. The price is going to be pretty steep for a lot of people.

However, it’s important to remember that this training was designed to help you:

  • Set up your business the right way from the beginning
  • Teach you the skills you need to master so that you can start offering high paying services
  • Market your business and land your first client
  • Earn your investment back as soon as possible

What Kristin teaches works and if you put in a sincere effort, you could have a new income stream within the next 30 to 90 days.

If you want to get a feel for Kristin’s teaching style, be sure to save your seat to her free workshop on becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant.

How are you planning on making money with Pinterest this year?

We’ve officially entered a new decade filled with new opportunities and chances to move closer towards our goals.

If you want to make Pinterest a part of how you earn from home this year, I sincerely hope this post helped you. And hopefully, it gave you an idea of how you can start making money working remotely.

If you’ve chosen one, I’d love to know which method you’re going to focus on in the comments!

This blog post is for informational purposes only. For more information and disclaimers, please visit my Terms and Conditions page.

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  1. Thanks for this easy to understand post! I’m looking for more info on affiliate marketing solely with Pinterest without having to spend a dime right now. Your action steps made this more clear for me. I appreciate the info!

  2. Thanks Rebekah for the great info. I’m an old school marketer and now just learning about all this social network marketing. Years ago we just had to buy leads, call on the phone, explain/teach, and hopefully members would join and go to work. UGH! Never want to do that again. So now I just want to blog, post, pin, and pay for clicks. Your info is a real help. Kudos and Thanks again… Smiles.

    1. I personally started making money on Pinterest when I had ~200 followers. Having followers will also help you get into group boards where you can better promote your affiliate links, so having a good amount always helps. 🙂

  3. Dear Rebekah, thanks for the helpful information you share with us! I’m a newbie in the affiliate marketing, but I’d really like to learn more about it and apply it with my Pinterest. I’ve already converted my account to business one. But I have some doubts – will it be possible to make an extra income through affiliate marketing and Pintefest without having a blog?

    1. Hi Tatyana! It’s definitely possible to make money on Pinterest without a blog. I actually made my first two affiliate sales from Pinterest before I made this blog. 🙂

  4. Great Tips! Such a great information.

    I agree with you that “This way you’ll be able to seewhat type of products do the best on Pinterest” I have always been facing problems with Making Money and was trying to hire someone to help me.

    I will tweet your post. Thanks a lot for sharing.


  5. Thank you for the useful easy to understand tips!! I personally am just getting started and looking for all the information I can soak up!! I am definitely going to dig into affiliate links!! I hope to be a money earning VA asap!!


  6. Hello Rebekah! I recently started trying to pin some affiliate pins and I am getting clicks, lots of them, but have yet to make my first sale. Any advice on how to design a pin (for a material product) to get that sale? This would be a wonderful article! I have researched but can’t seem to find any materials with examples of what a sale making pin looks like. I am a very visual person and love to see examples. Any recommendations of where to look? Or perhaps you would share a couple of your own pins that have a great conversion rate?

    1. Hey Stacy!

      A few tips would be to make sure your pins are in front of people interested in your offer. So if you’re promoting $5 meal plans, I think you would get more conversions if you post that to frugal living or healthy living group boards instead of to more general boards.

      Also, make sure to use relevant images that match your pin topic and end your pin description with a call to action. (e.g. Click through to get yours now.. or Explore the winter collection…)

      One of my best converting pins included an image of the product itself on the front. Plus I’ve noticed that linking to freebies (if available) has also improved my conversion rate.

      I recently went through McKinzie Bean’s course Pin To Profits: Affiliate Marketing <-- (affiliate link) and thought it had a great section on designing pins for clicks & conversions. If you’re interested, Mckinzie’s course will be 25% off this Black Friday using the coupon code THANKFUL. She goes into the nitty gritty of making money with Pinterest and includes some premade pin templates too. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

  7. I’ve never thought of using Pinterest alone to try to make affiliate incomes or becoming a Pinterest VA. Of course as you say Rebekah, you have to learn to build traffic to make a decent go at either, but a major investment in a course is not really something I can consider right now.

    I enjoyed reading this post and it has given me food for thought.

  8. Hello there. Does PInterest allows to put the direct link of the product in the pin? I have seen that it can be banned. In that case, would I need to write an article somewhere, put my affiliate link and the post it with the pin?

    1. Hi Leyena! Pinterest’s community guidelines mentions that they do allow affiliate links, but they don’t allow shortened or cloaked links. However, some affiliate programs may actually not allow posting affiliate links on to Pinterest. So, be sure to read the terms and conditions whenever you join a new affiliate program. You can also reach out to the program’s affiliate manager to ask them if they allow direct links on Pinterest.

      That said, in most cases you can post your affiliate links on Pinterest, but I actually think it’s a better idea to write an article on your blog that includes your affiliate links and then promote that on Pinterest.

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